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NFL LABOR PAINS: Super-Secret CBA meetings

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NFL LABOR PAINS: Super-Secret CBA meetings

So if you were reading Profootballtalk.com at any point yesterday, you might have noticed some meetings between the former NFLPA and the NFL have taken place the last few days. Among those involved were D. Smith, Goodell as well as owners like New England's Bob Kraft, Dallas' Jerry Jones, NFL Icons John Mara and Art Rooney and Brees/Manning insulter Jerry Richardson (aka Owner of the Panthers).

Know who wasn't there?

Lawyers.

“In my opinion, we could get a deal done in the next week,” Kraft said in early February.   “If business people sat down on both sides, and we tried to get the lawyers in the background. . . .  Get lawyers away from table.  Lawyers are deal breakers, not deal makers.”

As Shaft would say 'You're damn right'.

Don't get me wrong, I like lawyers well enough. I have friends who are lawyers. However, many lawyers get billed ( a lot ) by sessions and in some cases, hours spent on the case.

I'm not saying they have been intentionally bogging the process down, but one can imagine some unintentional dragging of feet (or briefcases).

Rumor has also had it that during the recent ownership meetings before the Super-Duper-Not-Really-A-Secret talks, the owners likely voted the aforementioned owners with the power to make a deal.

Now the parameters of said deal could still be silly, but if the rumors are true, there is hope for the first time in a long time that a deal is possible.

As I've said before, both sides have spent more time posturing than actually negotiating. Both sides have walked away from the table. Both sides have spewed hyperbole.

Now that they've gotten that out of their system, here's hoping they really are moving forward. I'll happily forgo any real news on it if it means we have a deal in the next few weeks which everyone may not be happy with, but can live with long term.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

MarkinMadison's picture

The reason why lawyers are "deal-breakers" is because we see it as our job to tell our clients all of the down-sides before they take a deal. Kind of like when you go drinking and have a buzz on, and your buddy tells you, um, no, you don't really want to go home with that guy/girl. We're a reality check; sometimes reality isn't as pretty as you think it is. Maybe this keeps you from falling in love (or whatever) and sometimes you wish your buddy would just go away, but there it is.

The money/billing part - much less of a factor than most people think. If you get your client a good outcome you still have a client next week. If you don't, they'll be yelling at you for letting them go home with that guy/girl. Like any small business, it is much easier to keep a good-paying client than to find a new one. Besides, D. Smith IS a lawyer, and like many of the lawyers involved here, he's an employee of the organizaiton. Only outside legal counsel gets to bill by the hour.

PackersRS's picture

THIS!

So much prejudice against lawyers. As if a lawyer would persuade his billion dollar client to do anything he himself didn't want to...

"those damn shady lawyers, with them ocus pocus smooth talk... I tell ya, Osama Bin Laden was a fun-loving, caring person! It was his lawyer that convinced him of attacking the US."

andrewgarda's picture

Oh stop.

Nowhere in that piece does anything come close to that, PRS.

This CBA going into litigation has bogged it down. Most CBAs don't get done by lawyers.

PackersRS's picture

I wasn't talking directly at your thread, but you gotta admit that's the feeling a lot of people have regarding lawyers.

And, yes, the LITIGATION has, indeed, gotten in the way of the CBA, but who opted for the litigation wasn't the lawyers, it was their clients.

That is the point. Lawyers, litigation, they're just weapons available to who pursues them. They're just an extent of the client's will. Blaming the lack of a deal on them is very misguided (not saying you did).

WoodyG's picture

One has to be extremely careful when dealing with lawyers .... An old rumour (unfounded at this point) is that lawyers have the ability to cast a 'spell' on their clients (happens during direct eye to eye contact) & ultimately the clients are unable to reason & lose the ability to think clearly ....

Obviously this has happened to both the owners & players .... Dam those lawyers !!!!

PackersRS's picture

Oh yeah... That.

You learn that as a freshman in hypnosis 101.

andrewgarda's picture

Fair points. I'm just saying that the litigation has gotten in the way. As Kraft said, get the business folks to the table and come up with a business deal.

andrewgarda's picture

@WOODY - Lawyers are hypnotists???? O_O

PackersRS's picture

We prefer the term experts in influencing sinapsis.

MarkinMadison's picture

Yes, but, remeber that the litigation was a key piece of the bargaining strategy for the players in this case. This is a very wierd case. Management would say litigation has gotten in the way, but I guarantee that the NFLPA does not see it that way. BTW CBAs do get done with lawyers at the table all the time, and often with the lawyer being the lead spokesperson. I've filled that role myself.

andrewgarda's picture

Then i will happily say I stand corrected on that point.

Indeed it is a very weird case.

MarkinMadison's picture

It's Miller time!

FITZCORE1252's picture

My sources tell me a deal is imminent.

GBP 4 LIFE

Jim's picture

In court the NFL used the fact that the PA met with them these past couple days as leverage to say that they aren't really a DISSOLVED union and have every intention reforming. Can't imagine the players are anxious to meet again...

andrewgarda's picture

I hadn't heard that (haven't gone through the whole preceding) but if you're right, that's frustrating - because they promised they wouldn't.

packeraaron's picture

Paul Clement was asked about it on the courthouse steps. He didn't bring it up in session. There will be more talks between the owners and the players next week.

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